Thursday, February 23, 2012

Western Human Factors students are among the best in the world two years in a row!

Graduate students in Missouri Western's Master of Applied Science in Human Factors and Usability Testing program are representing Missouri Western at a premier international conference for the second year in a row!

Tyler Davis, Camie Steinhoff, and Mari Telan Vela were selected for the second round of the Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) student design competition. Their manuscript was chosen as one of the top 12 papers from around the world.

CHI is the premier international conference of Human Factors in computing systems (established in 1982). It is attended by thousands of international attendees every year. According to Dr. Jeremiah Still, “The CHI student design competition has become an opportunity for companies to identify talented students.” Last year’s qualifying teams: University of Michigan, University of Washington, Iowa State University, Missouri Western State University, Indiana University, German University in Cairo, and Universidad Tecnologica de la Mixteca. It is clear by the academic participation and industry sponsors (e.g., Google, Microsoft, eBay, SAP, Bloomberg, Autodesk, etc) this is the place to shine!

This year’s design challenge was to create an object, interface, system, or service intended to help us develop our domestic experience as it relates to space, place, and threshold. Tyler, Camie, and Mari’s six page manuscript, MeCasa: A family virtual space, introduces a web site that encourages communication between displaced family members. Key design objectives were to: 1. Increase emotional connection, 2. Mimic privacy provided by an actual home, 3. Make the interaction fun and interesting to use. According to Tyler, “our web site could help family members that are separated geography feel more connected.” Mari, an international student, is personally motivated to find a solution to this year’s CHI design challenge. She claims, from personal experience, that current technology solutions (e.g., telephone or Skype) lack privacy, which is problematic. Her goal is to design a virtual family space, which affords real conversations.

In the second round our students will present posters at the conference in Austin, Texas. If they are selected as a final four team, they will have the opportunity to give a talk about their design. Their manuscript will be archived within the Association of Computing Machines (ACM) Digital Library.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New Scholarships for Early Application and Registration

The MWSU Graduate School is pleased to announce new scholarships for students who apply early and register for graduate courses early. Full information is available at

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Another year of record enrollment

Graduate enrollment at Western continues to grow. For Fall 2011, graduate student enrollment is up 29.8 percent over Fall 2010. Our combination of unique meaningful degrees, a quality faculty, and our applied learning mission all contribute to this phenomenal success.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Western becomes a full member of CGS

The board of the Council of Graduate Schools has voted to admit Missouri Western State University as a full regular member. This membership brings recognition to the maturity of Western's relatively new graduate programs. This recognition makes Western the only Missouri public university north of Kansas City to the west of Columbia to hold this honor.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Congratulations to the student teams who won the 2011 CHI Student Design Competition

As listed at here are this year's top 12 Student Design Competition submissions. This was the eighth year of the CHI Student Design Competition. The competition has grown each year with increased international representation, always draws a large audience at CHI, and also provides a prime recruiting opportunity for identifying talented students. This year there were over 60 submissions from 11 countries.

12 Teams accepted for the 2nd Round (in no particular order)

Lingua: Cultural Exchange Through Language Partnerships
University of Michigan - Caitlin Holman, Jane Leibrock, Jose Rafael Jimenez, Daniel Greitzer, Tom Haynes

The Design Process of iConnect: Social Advice Application
University of Washington - Shane Wachirawutthichai, Nisha Singh, Ramji Enamuthu, Yun “Joyce" Zhou

Entrust: Connecting Low-Income HIV+Individuals with Health Care Providers
Iowa State University Ames - Clifford J. Gentry, Marisol Martinez, Philip Vander Broek, Douglas Choi, Stefan Ganchev

DiversIT: Inspiring Communication about Individuals’ Differences
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology - Timothy Ekl, Kenny Gao, Sarah Jabon, Joseph Salisbury, Eric Stokes

Cowabunga!: A system to facilitate multi-cultural diversity through CouchSurfing
Missouri Western State University - Sujoy Kumar Chowdhury, Jody Wynn

SignBright: A Storytelling Application to Connect Deaf Children and Hearing Parents
Iowa State University - Chad Harbig, Lei Zhang, Melissa Burton, Mariam Melkumyan, Jiyoung Choi

TimeCapsule: Connecting Past
Indiana University - Yikun Liu, Haidan Huang

Sharing the Knowledge
Art Center College of Design Pasadena - Dustin York, Zhengxin Xi

Interactive Therapy Gloves: Reconnecting Partners After a Stroke
Emily Carr University - James Hallam, Vanessa Whiteley

Face-back: Who is the illiterate again?
German University in Cairo - Hoda Hamouda, Mariam Hussein, Mohamed Sharaf-El Deen, Nermeen Abdel-Aziz, Shady Hanna

ViTu: A System to Help the Mexican People to Preserve and Celebrate their Culture
Universidad Tecnológica de la Mixteca - Mónica Isabel González Arribas, Emilio Sánchez Sánchez, Edgar de los Santos Ramírez

Foodmunity: Designing community interactions over food
Indiana University Bloomington - Shad Gross, Austin Toombs, Jeff Wain, Kevin Walorski

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Western Participates in Graduate Education Week

Western is a proud participant in Governor Nixon's Graduate Education Week. Full information can be found online. Jody Wynn, a student in the Human Factors and Usability Testing program was highlighted as part of this event.